Wilmington Harbor Navigation Project

Cape Fear
Monitoring Programs

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Coastal Monitoring of the Wilmington Harbor Navigation Project
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) South Atlantic Division's Wilmington District (SAW) maintains a channel from the approach to the mouth of the Cape Fear River up to the Port of Wilmington. Nearly $7 billion worth of goods are handled annually at the Port of Wilmington helping make North Carolina the 10th largest exporting state in the nation.

Shipping lines are constructing larger ships that increase efficiency and profitability. Studies by the USACE and the North Carolina State Ports Authority have shown that deepening the shipping channel four feet to a depth of 42 feet is essential to keeping current business and attracting new customers. The 42-foot depth will accommodate 90 percent of the world's shipping fleet and contribute $34 million annually in regional benefits at an annual estimated cost of $26 million. For more information got to the Wilmington District's Harbor Deepening Project.

  Monitoring the Project
As part of the navigation improvements under construction for the Wilmington Harbor Project, the ocean bar channel will be both deepened and realigned. Suitable littoral material dredged from the channel during initial construction and periodic maintenance will be placed on the adjacent beaches. The response of the beaches and nearshore to the project will be observed through long-term monitoring programs. The coastal monitoring program (see details by clicking the links to Monitoring Programs on the left) includes the following basic tasks:

Monitoring Tasks
1-Offshore and beach profile surveys.
2-Channel and ebb tide delta surveys.
3-Operation of directional wave gauges and current profiling meters.
4-Channel entrance current measurements.
5-Color aerial photography.

Access to the data products can be obtained by selecting the links under "Data", to the left, while near real-time wave and current conditions can be observered by selecting the appropriate gauge listed under "Real Time".

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